What’s this blog about

We have decided to spend a few years, or more, of our retirement full time in an RV. We never planned to retire in our existing home. Figured at the time we sell the house why not travel around the country while we don’t own a stick built home.

I suppose it would be more accurate to replace the term “retirement” with “freedom” in that I’ll still be working part-time to support our needs. The difference will be our income will come from various sources, including social security and pensions, rather than working a fulltime job. Because the amount of earned income we should need from a job is far less, we will have more flexibility in selecting our part-time work.

We are using this blog as an electronic notebook to jot down our planning steps. We hope by posting ideas and decisions we will generate comments from those traveling the same path or those more experienced for the benefit of all readers.

We have the time so why not use it to research everthing! We spent years planning for retirement and how we would fund it. Karen and I view planning for retirement to an RV just another step in our overall retirement planning.

Make sure you come back and visit our blog pages. Very few are static pages as I’m adding content all the time.  We really want to get input from whomever is willing to give it.

Planning reduces the risk of failure. Or as my dad used to say it, “piss poor planning leads to piss poor performance.”

Karen and I started living fulltime in our fifth wheel on 8/22/19. I decided to keep posting on this blog because I’ve received so much feedback with ideas to make living the RV lifestyle easier. Also family comes here to see what we are up to even when Karen posts on her Facebook page. I want to keep posting so folks know what planning steps worked and what did not.

Thanks for reading,

Mark and Karen


15 thoughts on “What’s this blog about

  1. Hello mark and Karen,
    My husband and I are from Kelowna British Columbia Canada. We are also in the process of looking at full timing. I found your ite and have found it most interesting. We have been researching for about a year now.
    Thank you for all the awesome info , keep it coming
    John and cherie


  2. Getting your rig early is an excellent idea. By the time you’re ready to pull the trigger on retirement, you will have become familiar with your new “home” and you won’t be belly-flopping in to retirement, downsizing and starting a dramatic lifestyle change all at once. As you correctly stated, it is intense, as it was for us, and consider that we had had our MH for several years when we did it. Besides, playing with your new toy and making it perfect will help the final year go by in a flash. I say, “go for it.”


    • Mike, I’ve been reading through your blog for tips.

      We are in agreement that having the rig early should make the last year go quicker. Karen and I talked about it earlier in the week and are thinking about getting our truck first, which would be one capable of towing/stopping up to around 19,500 pounds. That’s the largest fifth wheel we are interested in and there are plenty of trailer selections at that weight and below. Then get the trailer. This is what makes since for us financially.

      I’m saving up vacation time so I’ll be maxed out the last year and we will be able to take several longer trips.


  3. We are planning also. We don’t have a house, the investors took our retirement, so we are using our little trailer. We rehomed our chickens (that we adored), took our boat to our daughter, and just sold our tractor. We hope to buy a newer truck. We are long retired and hope to be on the road come March 2017. I think getting the truck first is a great idea! We hope to get a diesel for the pulling. Will follow your progress. Good Luck. You are very lucky.


      • I will add more info with my next post. So far we have given away our chickens, given our boat away and sold our tractor. We have a Harley that will be going to our son this weekend. Next our shed comes down and then my hubby is going hunting. When he returns we take my husbands 1940 Ford to our son and begin to get rid of personnel stuff. I’ll keep you posted.


  4. Looks like fun! We used to do a lot of RVing when the kids were young…(we homeschooled, so we were able to travel when we wanted) When we sell this house we might just get another trailer and take to the road for a while (just the 2 of us this time) before settling down again 🙂 Happy travels!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Again, FANTASTIC archive of your prep, I really appreciate it as we are on a very similar journey with a similar timeline. In reference to your very detailed and great trailer rating effort, I added a couple things on mine.
    1. Inside and outside storage volume. Weight is great but volume will also fit in my equation
    2. Access to ceiling, walls, floor for inspections, wiring updates, etc. I am a little worried about how I do things behind the walls and then put them back together.
    3. Access to bathroom, fridge, bedroom with the slides in the in position. I just want to access these without having to go through a setup procedure…
    4. We are going to rip the Band-Aid off and go solar, truck alternator and plugin from the get go, no generator. Slight changes in your electrical area (through holes in roof, room for more batteries, efficient AC option).

    Minor things for me to add to your detailed list.

    I owe you a couple steak dinners if I we meet up on the road one day!


    • Nice additions Trent… We also found having a few must haves was a good way to knock down the list of trailers I even had to run through the evaluation. It’s a time consuming process to rank them but really the only way to compromise our way to the nearly perfect trailer for us.


  6. We are looking at Vanliegh Pinecrest 305. Our current RV is a Class C and we want the flexibility of a 5Th Wheel. On our last trip in July 2020 to SD,Mt,Wy and ID we only spent 3 nights with power hookup. That includes the 3 days each way in transit. Folks at Bass Pro are really nice! So we MUST have a camper with a generator. Does the 305 come with generator prep? Can you run both a/c off an Onan 4000 if you replace a/c startup capacitor with a boost capacitor? Help.Tim Lowe St Simons Ga


    • Thanks for following the blog Tim. Hope to learn from you as well.

      I’m not 100% up to speed on the Pinecrest line but did download their brochure and watch two videos before I replied to you. I can’t find anything that documents the Pinecrest comes with generator prep. So I jumped on the Vanleigh Facebook Owner’s Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/464236963762212. There was a thread dated January of 2020 where someone asked the same question regarding generator prep. Most replies stated they carry the generator in their truck. But one said they sent a message to Vanleigh and the reply from them was – “no, but to call them to discuss it.” The number at Vanleigh is 662-612-4040. Unfortunately, the national sales manager (Freddie Swinney) appears to have left that job or I would have been able to email him.

      We run both our factory ACs on 30 amps but of course shut other electrical items off. Sometimes we use both ACs to initially cool the camper down then cut over to one to maintain relative comfort on our 35′ trailer. Both our ACs are 1500 BTU. I noticed at least one AC on the Pinecrest is 13,500 BTU and therefore takes less power to run, presumably. I noticed there is an option for a second AC as well. I cannot say 100% sure you can run both Pinecrest ACs, if equipped, on a 30 amp power supply as there may be wiring differences or something else I’m not qualified to judge. Again, I know we can on the Vilano. I’m also thinking voltage comes into play when running a lot of power over a circuit and low voltage is a concern.

      My generator is a 3500 watt and runs a full 30 amps. I used a 4000 watt in a class C that ran well but that RV only had one AC so I would not have been able to test it. I’ve also been doing some study on start-up power needs for our AC which is also a Coleman Mach (8) rather than the Mach (3 – 13,500 BTU) on the Pinecrest. Some are saying Coleman may have added soft starting. Here is a good place to read up on AC’s: https://www.airxcel.com/rv/coleman-mach
      I’ve not come to any conclusion that Coleman has or has not added soft starting.

      Hope some of this helps. Sorry I can’t give definitive answers at times. I don’t want to mislead anyone.


      • Thank YOU!!! I have emails into VanLiegh, and I will call this week. Love your confidence in the Tiffin/Vanliegh line. Just a question, we were trying to go as small as possible so that we can get it into boon docking sites, but we saw plenty of bigger 5th wheels. Is 35′ over 32′ going to make that much difference? Any other recommendations on which 5th wheel are appreciated.tim


      • Since the virus stuff started, I believe there has been a drop off in service at Vanleigh. They also went through some staffing changes. I’ve heard from two Grand Design Owners that they have seen the same in that brand. There was a big slow down in parts when the factories closed for the virus and now sales are through the roof. I suspect that is slowing down service, such as returned phone calls and emails.

        I’ll try not to over answer the question and do appreciate the comments as we all learn from them.

        For us, 35′ has not been an issue in state parks. Actually, the 13′ height is more of a concern as we are all the time looking for trees not to hit. Turning corners at intersections has also not been an issue with the 35′. When we picked our trailer we went as short as possible in a floor plan we liked. Otherwise we would have gone shorter. I’d love to have a floor plan in a 32′ we liked.

        Another point, one you are probably already aware of having had a class C. It’s hard to just pull over when one sees an interesting stop on the road, like a historical marker or whatever. There would be not difference in a 35 or 32′ for that. 25′ class c’s can stop at those points for sure.

        The truck you tow with makes a difference. Ours is like 22′ long. Turning in the street when backing into a spot is sometimes tricky.

        I think you would find just as many spots with a 35′ to camp in as a 32′, if the truck was equal in length. But, with the bigger trailers comes more weight. And takes a truck with an axle (cargo capacity) where the rear axle of the truck can handle the pin weight.

        If you add a 32′ trailer to our truck then the overall length, which is less 4′ over the truck, would be about 51′. And that, in my experience, does not make a difference when selecting a regular state park or commercial park. Sometimes, in the 50′ parking spots, we just angle the truck out front when parking.

        Again, I’m thinking the height is often the bigger concern. Believe the Pinecrest is around 12’4″ tall? We are at 13′. Does 6″ make a difference? Not for driving on roads and I’d also think not inside a park to the most extent.

        Get in touch with Ingrid at Live, Love Laugh RV Blog. Here is a link: https://livelaughrv.net/

        They have a “shorter” fifth wheel and are experts at fulltiming. Although I believe she commented once that they would like a motor home next. She is very helpful. Think they are pulling their Keystone with a 2500 truck.

        Vanleigh built our trailer 34’11” long on purpose as it seems 35′ is the limit in some parks.

        Hope this helps. The decisions are so personal based off all kinds of factors. For us, floor plan and cargo capacity were big points. I’d say most fulltimers are in the range of 40′ lengths. An older timer I trust says 38′ is a nice spot. Again, Karen and I preferred the shortest with a floor plan we could live in.

        Wish we could have found a 32′ were we liked the floor plan for living in. I’d have bought it for sure!


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